Every business has a marketing plan and cinema is one of the most lucrative businesses of our times. The love that you feel for cinema and the love that you transmit to the whole team does not feed the production. The only thing that will allow you to continue making movies is the results at the box office.

That is why, throughout the history of modern cinema, numerous marketing plans have been created around movies and series to attract the public to theaters and to get them hooked. 

Working hand in hand with the creative team, the marketing specialists can help the film go viral, firstly by creating expectations and then ensuring good numbers. Let’s take a look at the marketing strategies used to promote some of the most successful films of recent times and how you can implement them to your productions:

Jurassic World (2015)

It was clear that Jurassic World would be a resounding success, and still they created a promotional website for the theme park as if the famous dinosaur park really existed. The active website covers all the smallest details, from the map of the park, the current temperature in Isla Nublar, to the places where dinosaurs can be found.

The best part of the website is that each page redirects to buy a Ticket to visit the park. Of course, what you really do is buy tickets to see the movie at the local cinema. 

District 9 (2009)

District 9 was quite a surprise. It didn’t have any A-list stars, and the director Neill Blomkamp wasn’t known at the time. It was his feature film debut. Still, the film triumphed in a big way, and that probably has a lot to do with the clever  “Alien Billboard” campaign that was created for the movie.

Nothing like it had ever been done before and that won the attention of the public. District 9 marketers made up a striking story that the aliens migrated to an unprotected area of ​​South Africa without resources. So they created signs saying “For Humans Only,” and then scattered them all over the big cities around the world. This billboard soon became viral and recognizable as the District 9 campaign, allowing the viewers to have a clear idea of ​​what the movie is about without making any spoilers. The campaign was a total success and tripled its budget at the box office. (210.8 million USD)

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project was a milestone in the history of horror movies not only because of its approach and way of making movies, but also because they made us believe that everything was real, that they were not actors who starred in this tape and that these people had really suffered the terror of that haunted forest. 

Releasing the trailer as if it is a paranormal video was one of the greatest marketing strategies ever.

Chronicle (2012)

The film did not have a large budget and neither did it have big stars, so what usually happens in these cases is that the lack of budget sharpens ingenuity. Which made the team rack their brains to make all the marketing actions go viral.

This film focuses on a group of teenagers who, by getting in contact with a mysterious substance, acquire extraordinary powers. One of these powers is being able to fly, so the marketing team behind the film decided to make that power a reality. They made three mini-planes in the shape of a teenager and then dropped them all over New York City on January 27, 2012 and it took five minutes to turn heads around.

The video of the teenagers flying over the Hudson River went viral making an incredible free promotion. A very smart strategy that helped Chronicle raise  more than ten times the budget of the film. ($126.6 million Box office return to $15 million budget)

Game of Thrones

Word of mouth has always been the most reliable way to promote anything. Times have changed and word of mouth has transformed into “Likes” and “Shares” on social networks, so if you want to take advantage of the full potential of your marketing strategy, start with something worth sharing with others.

Game of Thrones marketed its final season in the UK, planting a bus-sized Dragon skeleton head on the Dorset beach. Imagine the surprise of visitors when they saw the giant skull. The marketing team didn’t have to lift a finger as fans spread the news with their mobile phones via their social media. Talk about free publicity!

To sum it up, a marketing strategy can break or make a film. With thousands of tools made available for us, there are a million different ways marketers can get people excited and involved.